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HipHop Heads CXXI


HipHop Heads





YUNG LEAN - KYOTO  2,886,154 +


peppers3mith67 Before the Arizona Iced out boy blew up thanks to the amazing track Kyoto, Yung Lean was just another Swedish 16 year old with an obsession for Pokemon and Lil’ B. Lean was coming off his debut mixtape that didn’t garner much buzz, but the founder of the hip hop collective SADBOYS had nothing to lose. My initial listen to Unknown Death 2002 was probably one of the weirdest experiences of my life. Saxophones were coming out of nowhere, synthesizers were wobbling over insanely unorthodox beats, and furthermost this shy white kid was rappin about “polo pajamas made of marijuana” and “Louis dufflebags filled with heroin”. For some reason I kept comin back and now I can say that Yung Lean is one of my favorite MC’s and that no one in the game is doing anything like him and the Sadboys. He obviously is not for everyone, but it’s up to you whether you find this project SAD or stupid.

urog I didn’t go into this tape taking it seriously, but I left it in my library for a long time. I found myself never skipping lean when he came on because almost every beat is so on point. He’s really got an amazing team of producers behind him and his weird as fuck, mildly shitty style of rapping definitely has a sort of draw. You either go into this album and leave thinking it’s all a huge joke that nobody keyed you in on, or you walk away with some genuine understanding of the sadboys culture. This tape had me searching for some good synthpop and vaporwave and opened me up to a lot of music I would have ordinarily passed on. I’m officially #sad after hearing unknown death, but in a good way.

musicmantobes: Like what music. I'm interested. urog: you ready for some shit son? • “lightsaber // saviour” brilliantly samples “the great fire” by future islands, which I found to be an incredibly passionate and earnest band. they just dropped a new album which isn’t as good as their old ones, but still worth the time. • this in turn got me into yung sherman’s production, which further led me into related artists, like • lil sad, who is a fucking champ at flipping weird samples. thirsty for more of this sort of music, i soon learn it is called “vaporwave” • this brought me to saint pepsi when i looked the shit up on soundcloud. i was so hype about this. • a couple nights later i went to a shitty post punk house show and talked to some weird burnout chick by the bonfire pretty much because she had weird sparkly makeup and i found it kinda hot. i mentioned yung lean and saint pep which prompted her to ask if i was a sadboy. naturally, in the midst of my lean addiction, i said yes and she told me to find her via okaycupid (which is actually like a big trend among the filthy hipsters like myself in my city). uncovering her shitty dating profile, i found some interesting music. • i didn’t smash, but i found spazzkid who is a righteous chillwave master. i’m on a big 80s synthpunk kick now, will report back later once i have transcended my human body. sadboy out.

bobstr14: If you’re on a vaporwave kick, MACINTOSH PLUS - FLORAL SHOPPE is essential listening. suddenly_kayne: Damn I’m digging this. Any other suggestions

for essentials?

bobstr14: Just realized she has a huge discography under the name Vektroid.

•Here’s a new-ish article by Vice on vaporwave. •Mallsoft is pretty closely entwined with vaporwave. •luxury elite is relatively big for the genre. •/r/Vaporwave is a thing (haven’t checked the quality) •Mirror Kisses is a friend who makes some very vibed-out eighties-type music.

suddenly_kanye: Thanks man. I remember

reading that Vice article a while back & I lurk /r/ Vaporwave heavily. I appreciate the other links, will definitely check out! I’ve been on a mad steampunk/ vaporwave kick recently again.



LIL SAD - U MAKE ME  105,741 + UROG “LIL SAD”







Mallsoft is distinct from its cousin Vaporwave by using ethereal, vague music that is very easily looped as ‘background’ music. The genius of mallsoft is that it’s not meant to be paid attention to, it’s not distinct. It’s meant to be left on repeat while the ‘listener’ does other things. The repetition of the music eventually forces its way into the listener’s mind subconsciously, to be recalled at later date as a memory of something that may or may not have happened. Mallsoft is the ultimate commentary on our ADD, twitter-obsessed generation that can’t focus on one task at a time, much less an entire album. Mallsoft is essentially the ultimate realization of a concept being so “post” it ceases to even exist in the same realm and enters the realm of entirely self parody and therefore creates an endless loop within itself. The concept that a captcha invented the genre name, an anonymous internet user claimed it would become a phenomenon and then an internet community made a joke about it essentially created a self fulfilling prophecy. We are living in 2013; we are living in mallsoft. --How to (attempt) to make mallsoft: > Sample some jazz, preferably something really cheesy. Or you can just get any music that sounds like 'elevator music'. Make sure the sample can loop into the space you want it to. > Make it sound more distant by adding effects (reverb, phaser, panning, distortion etc.). Fiddle with the effects until it sounds like it is being played in an open space (a mall). > Edit, tweak and add more stuff. Tips: > Repetitiveness is good, but not too much. > Make sure the entire track can loop well. > Mallet instruments are good. > Be good at production. > Do field recordings in a mall! ---

“What is vaporwave? According to commenters in various music forums, it’s ‘chillwave for Marxists,’ ‘post-elevator music,’ ‘corporate smooth jazz Windows 95 pop,’ and (my personal favorite) ‘better than that witch house shit.’

To put it an taking bits night infom jazz, and t receptioni put you on that up, pi scramblin you’ve got dripping o valve. Tha

nother way, imagine s of 80’s Muzak, latemercials, smooth that tinny tune ists play when they n hold, then chopping itching it down, and ng it to the point where t saxophone goo out of a cheap plastic at’s vaporwave.” IS VAPORWAVE THE NEXT SEAPUNK? THUMP’S YEAR IN REVIEW BOBSTR14 “HERE”








骨架的 - SAFE

warzero: I gotchu on this. As a producer in a group that some consider the precursor to this style of hip hop, I’ve networked with quite a few people and been following the Sadboys since before they got big off of Ginseng Strip. (I remember watching the video when it had 400 views, now look [it’s 2 million].) Lil’ Sad has already been mentioned, and he’s awesome and a cool dude. Similar to Lil’ Sad, we got Karman who just dropped “2005 Forever” not too long ago. One of the first Sadboy affiliates I talked to, does frequent shows on (another amazing resource for great producers, s/o SPF420). White Armor, the unsung hero of Sadboys who gets overshadowed by Gud and Sherm, is just as good and did an amazing job on Unknown Death 2002. Member of GTBSG and Sadboys, he’s been working with a lot of Team Sesh and ex-Raider Klan members lately. Little Cloud, or more often “ohlittlecloud,” is a Sadboys affiliate, fan, and Yung Sherman’s girlfriend. She makes awesome tape loop tracks with the same ethereal vibe that goes along with the Sadboy’s sound. I talked with both her and Sherm on Tinychat, they make a dope duo. While not an affiliate or main producer, Suicideyear has a similar style if not a bit clearer and not so washed out within the wall of sound Sadboys use on most their tracks. He has two great mixtapes out, self titled and Japan. He produced “Hurt” for Yung Lean. AS for unrelated vaporwave artists and the like, here are a few of my current favorites: Sacred Tapestry - Shader Vektroid - STARCALC Disconcious - Hologram Plaza 骨架的 - Safe Diskette Romances - ST ECO VIRTUAL - VIRTUAL 大気中分析 (Shameless plug) Ghostpalmss - Die (my project, full length coming mid 14’) And from here, the list goes on and on. Youtube, SPF420, Soundcloud, etc are all great resources that will seemingly give you an infinite amount of artists to check out. Hope you like what you hear!

alteryo One of Yung Lean's big ups is his #sadboys production team. Gud and Sherman are two very capable producers and their beats are capable to carry songs on their own, Kyoto being the prime example of that. Lyrically, Leandoer isn't very good and his themes and tropes can become repetitious at times. Adding to that, is the fact that a 16-year old white Swedish boy is rapping about the trap lifestyle and getting "his balls licked by a Zoey Deschanel lookalike cocaine addict". But this is where he scores again: He is using the stark contrast between his outward appearance and his lyrics to create a persona in the vein of Lil B. Leandoer understands well how to present himself and that's what makes so entertaining. Also, his father is a poet and critic. I don't know what that says about Yung Leandoer, but I find that little factum interesting. undergrads: Thanks for such an informative answer. I just discovered Yung Lean recently myself - not even a week ago - and while I really like his "product", I just couldn't pinpoint why exactly. Sure, it's nothing that I would call amazing or high quality music, but I definitely feel his vibe and some of the beats are absolutely addictive, namely Emails, Kyoto and Oreomilkshake. Like I said, I don't know much else about the person, but I'm really curious as to what he could eventually put out. This can certainly be interesting.

[deleted]: he isn't serious, but sincere somehow isalright: Well, he's not being serious. He's having fun. But he's still putting in effort, he's still trying to actually put together songs and records. I dunno if that makes him sincere, but eh. theblackhippies: “But this is where he scores again: He is using the stark contrast between his outward appearance and his lyrics to create a persona in the vein of Lil B. Leandoer understands well how to present himself and that’s what makes so entertaining.” - alteryo This 100%. I really really appreciate when a rapper or band knows how to market themselves and has a strong and original sense of identity and imagery surrounding them. He has a distinct style (music videos, lyrics, attitude, beats, flow) revolving around early 2000s nostalgia and Japanese stuff mixed with the trap life and it’s very deliberate. Artists get tons of respect from me for being able to do that.

theycallmedope: yeah having an original sense of identity puts you far above the competition, even if your music isn’t that good. but yung lean has both [deleted]: I think he is lyrically quite strong and I feel people are more put off by his cadence and accent.

mcvries: I personally love him, but when i try to introduce him to people, that’s the problem lots of people have. His bars are hilarious, but flow is nonexistant. at least lil b has pretty good flow on a few tracks. [deleted]: The flow is there it is just not that accessible on one listen mcvries: I mean he definitely has a cadence, but in the truest sense of the word “flow” his words really don’t. His delivery is pretty choppy, and I have no problem with that, but it puts a lot of people off i think



“I know some people Lean and listen to h me, this is legitimatel beats on here are abs the way Yung Lean fl somehow works. Lik dimension or atmosp

e like to bag on Yung him ironically, but to ly a good project. The solutely amazing and flows over them just ke they add an extra phere over the beats.� -NIPPOTEN

skillmau5 I really enjoy this mixtape. I think Yung Lean is proof that in the age of the Internet your location and image don’t have to matter as much as your music. I love his ability to make such enjoyable music without needing to be super lyrical, or even have serious rapping at all. The producers he uses take the sound of Cloud Rap a step farther with extremely well crafted beats. I think it’s interesting that he uses autotune on almost every track without the listener (or me at least) being annoyed by it, or even realizing it’s there for that matter. It’s amazing that he can use it in such an original way, rather than what it’s typically used for, which is to make it enhance the sound of singing (not that there’s anything wrong with that, Future/Kanye/whoever else use it well too). Despite the fact that this project could be seen as boring, I think it’s very original, and a super great debut mixtape. Super interested in what he comes out with next. 8/10

suddenly_kanye: I think it’s interesting that he uses autotune on almost every track without the listener (or me at least) being annoyed by it [...]

I feel the reason for this is that people have a problem when people use it as a crutch or as a means of masking one’s true singing ability. Lean uses autotune almost as another instrument. His voice adds another layer that blends so smoothly with the beat, rather than being the focal point of most of his songs.

isalright: This made me notice that the actual lyrics are hard to hear. Most raps require Rap Genius for a full understanding, but Yung Lean is near indecipherable at times. This made me realize that it’s simply a layer to the beat, rather than the foreground of the beat. Cool concept.

nippoten I know some people like to bag on Yung Lean and listen to him ironically, but to me, this is legitimately a good project. The beats on here are absolutely amazing and the way Yung Lean flows over them just somehow works. Like they add an extra dimension or atmosphere over the beats. To be the casing point are on songs like Solarflare, and especially Princess Daisy, my favorite joint. Excited to see what he does with Unknown Memory.

mebad99: Princess Daisy is one of my favourite zone-out joints, song is underrated as fuck

arottenmango Is this the thing Anthony famtano just ate bread for his review?

luch11: yep peppersmith67: Still don’t know if this is a compliment or making fun of Yung Lean

whitekidmaadcity: I don’t know what I expected.

furr_sure Here’s a listening club I can get down with! I love this album, the start is kinda forgettable for me, although i love the jazziness of “Welcome..”, cos I’m usually zoning out when I put it on but fuck, the rest just always gets me singing along and doing shitty whiteboy cooking. He doesn’t need the most amazing lyrics to be catchy and to stay in my mind all damn day repeating the same stupid lyric (Neon green plants, gucci on my pants, cooooke on my teeth so i’m hard to understaaand... i’m a player, i’m a robber, i’ma fuck her with no rubber... catch me in the hummer wit yo momma... or, sky’s pink when i’m on ecstasy in tokyo) especially since he has these awesome drugged out cloud beats that still go hard. He’s relatable (to me at least) since he raps about all the same shit I enjoy... pokemon, crazy brags, smoking weed/getting high. Also, he seems to be self aware to some extent with lyrics like “I make no sense, I make nonsense” or “no-one heard bout Lean a month ago, I was in my bedroom making music yo” There’s the whole #sadboys emotional thing that everyone kinda gets annoyed at but I really love this music, it’s so easy to get baked and lose yourself for 40 minutes with this tape I’d really recommend it to anyone who gets into other things that don’t require sound (I often listen while photoshopping, video games, cleaning). My top tracks are Gatorade (ofc), Lemonade (coke up in the swisher switchin lanes like switchin pictures) and Solarflare. If you’ve listened to this tape and want some more Lean then definitely look out for Unknown Memory, Kyoto is the lead (?) single from this and other released tracks are Visions of U (fucking amazing. i turn the clouds into the lightening), King of Darkness & Motorola. So yeah this has been my most played project in 2014 #arizonatears If you wanna get to know him better, there’s a Q&A that was posted here recently, and an old AMA he did on HHH

mcvries: yo where can I cop that t-shirt? that thing is tight! furr_sure:

small is all that’s left but that’ll be pretty damn small, i got medium and it’s kinda little

mcvries: ah damnit thats such a good looking shirt. thanks anyways. minnesota_:


isalright I really enjoy Welcome 2 Unknown Death. It scrubs into your ears like they’re a slab of ice and it’s a guy playing curling, then suddenly these synths and saxs come on and it’s really amazing.

jinzo2222 I love this mixtape. Absolutely fantastic production from front to back and lean’s ridiculous subject matter makes every song entertaining. In my opinion the production from Sherman/ Gud blow most of what the top producers are making out of the water. The single off of lean’s next project, Kyoto, specifically comes to mind. Probably the best beat I have heard in at least a year, and I would love for someone to show me something better



jaffery333 I fucking love this tape. The production is amazing, there are quite a few hilarious memorable lines and oddly catchy hooks. Leandoer actually flows nicely as fuck over Yung Sherman and Yung Gud’s beats. It’s been a few months when I first listened to this album but I remember waking up one morning and being really tired, and I had downloaded Unknown Death the night before, so I decided to listen to it while falling back asleep in my bed. It was an awesome experience, the production and Lean’s voice put me back to sleep almost immediately and i’ve been in love with Yung Lean and his crew ever since. I guess the amount of drugs I do may influence my opinion, since this shit sounds spacey as fuck, but I really admire every aspect of this recently formed subgenre of rap.

[deleted] I’m listening to it for the first time right now. And I think I’m up to the 5th song. I listened to the first few confused, as I thought this was released in 2002 and I thought Yung Lean was a black fellow. I than Googled him and found out this was released last year and he’s a 16 year old Swedish kid. I don’t know. Some trippy beats. I see what he’s going for (barre rap I’m guessing, as his name is Yung Lean). I’m a big fan of jolly rancher drink rap, but this is just...I don’t know. Edit - His accent is kind of unique to the music though. I’ll give him that. But his flow just falls apart sometimes. He’s only 16 though.

gimmeyourtags: His name is yung lean because his last name is Leandoer furr_sure: "i'm so young, I drink hella lean, that's why they call me yung lean" gimmeyourtags: Yung Leandoer's holy, eat her up like ravioli furr_sure: married to a dinosaur her vagina sore, idk how anyone could get bored of this kid

gimmeyourtags: three headed dolphin that's a threesome

furr_sure: posted in that deathstar snorting coke with darth vader, posted up..dressed in bapester

the flow mixed with the retro lyrics is too dope

mynamedontfi: It’s worth pointing out that English is his second language so it might help explain why his flow falls apart at times.

[deleted]: Oh definitely. I wouldn’t be able to rap in Swedish. l-boy: For it being his second language, Lean knows English pretty damn well furr_sure: Yeah if you’ve heard him speak he is pretty fluent




greeleye I really enjoy Yung Lean and Sadboys. I find his songs constantly playing in my head while in class or just walking somewhere, so catchy. His lyrics are funny and memorable, but don't really say anything beyond the literal. But his production is so fucking good. Yung Gud and Yung Sherman make some of the dopest beats. I also really enjoy White Armor's production, particularly Motorola. On Unknown Death 2002, I constantly find myself drawn back to Hurt, Solarflare, Lightsaber, and Nitevision. I really enjoy the throwbacks to things from my childhood, it allows for a connection to an artist which is something difficult for me to do with a lot of rap. It's hard to connect to Chief Keef for example since I'm a middle-class white boy. Suicideyear is really good on Hurt, I recommend checking his other stuff like his remix of Hard in the Paint. Overall, Yung Lean is in my top plays on my phone and I can always go back to Unknown Death 2002 for another listen.v

plaugedoctor I like yung leandoer but I can't get into all the songs on unknown death, I think it's because of the mastering with leans voice, on some songs it just doesn't fit. By the way, I was really surprised when one of my friends started playing Kyoto at a party. All my friends are pretty big into EDM, mostly house, so to play some yung lean would be really weird for anyone of them to do. And he wasn't playing it ironically.

millimeterger What do I say about Yung Lean? Unknown Death 2002 has had some of the most intersting beats I've heard from a 16 year old, a lot of instrumental variation surprisingly. Gatorade, hurt, emails, solarflare.. all of them have at least one lyrics worth repeating too. Perfect example of cloud rap beats to me.

vuxa: (he doesn't do his own beats, most are from yung sherman/yung gud) millimeterger: There were a few other producer tags like Friendzone as well. I guess I should just credit the Sad Boys and not Yung Lean for the beats. vuxa: yuh friendzone and suicideyear hopped on a couple as well millimeterger: Don't forget White Armor! He did Motorola


mandrup: Am I the only one not really feeling Motorola? I just think it's overdone with the autotune and the vocal is too abstract for the simple beat. Compared to his other stuff, I just don't think it's up to par. i_make_usernames: Damn I didn't know friendzone were involved,

I know one of them

diggy55: Gud is 16 and Sherman is 17 or 18 i think


So I was talking to Yung Lean today, I fielded him some questions from the HHH community and then a few more that I have seen on other websites that might interest fans. Here is what he had to say: Who are your top 5 producers of all time from any genre and how have they changed the way you make your music or influenced your work? Yung Sherman, White Armor, Yung Gud , Vattenrum, James Ferraro. Different work and inspirational. When can fans expect to hear Unknown Memory? When its perfect. Do you have any other projects that you are currently working on? Yes plenty side projects. How do your parents feel about your music? They cool, my dad is a poet and writes about death and stuff so I guess we're alike, My mom be cool though. She dont get it, MY sister thinks she's a hipster and only listen to Joy Division but I know she sneaks a little lean in there sometimes. Which artists would you like to collaborate with in the near future? Chief Keeef or future islands, Triad God or King Louie. Who are your top 5 favourite rappers, dead or alive? Dont knowwww, Lean doer? If you could spend a day with any person in history, who would it be and why? Kurt Cobains Last days, or I'd just like chill and drink coffee and smoke weed with William S Borroughs for a whole day.

You said during your Reddit AMA that you (for weed) and Yung Sherman (for graffiti) were on probation - are you guys still on probation? Mmm no, I think Yung Sherman and Ecco just had their court trial, or whatever sentencing for painting graffiti. I had to pee in a cup a couple times but its over now so I guess im fine. Why is Yung Gud not going on the White Marble tour? He has to finish High School, me and sherman both gave up on education so I think Yung Gud feels obligated to be the only one with a high school diploma in SBE. Umm, Yeah I dont know, i guess he regrets it now, but i respect his choice. What other hobbies do you have apart from rapping? I like reading sin city and watching true detective. I also like going to drink free booze with my friends at art gallerys and laugh at people. Hahah I dont know, I like reading articles about globalism and playing tennis or buying expensive clothes that I regret buying the day after. Do you think that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a god? Fuck sports man. What are your thoughts on religion? Fuck religion. Charmander, Bulbasaur or Squirtle? Bulbauser. People in the DOTA2 gaming scene love your shit, they want to know if you're aware of their fandom? I must say that I love it. Thaiboy goon was gaming the other day and told me that arteezy was playing kyoto for like this whole hour stream. Never been into dota but I really respect it. Its cool as fuck to be down with the gaming community. S/o to arteezy. Who are your favourite rappers among the other nominees for the XXL freshmen this year? I like Lil Durk, King Louie and fredo and those guys. 100's is dope as well. What are your thoughts on Nujabes? RIP, i used to bump one of his songs when I was in like 7tth grade on my phone whenever I was travelling somewhere.


popeshakiethe1st Sherman is a great producer, very very unique. I really hope he can ride up this wave of popularity with Yung Lean and they can start producing on a much bigger scale.

c_sthrlnd This is kinda late to the thread, but does anyone want to explain to me why Yung Lean always mentions the years 2002,03,04 ??

furr_sure: He said 2002 and 03 were like the best years for stuff he enjoyed everything_beautiful: I think it's most likely that sadboys stay so high they are literally recording music from another galaxy. Plus thematically the whole 2002 imagery stays pretty consistent in his lyrical content and videos. That's always how I interpreted it. c_sthrlnd: Thanks, I could connect the video quality being like a shitty camcorder from back in the early 00's.

asapsurgue I fuckin love yung lean. I always thought that his rap weren't ment to be taken serious kind of like a poor mans lil b. just with way better beats.

saiyaman Not really feeling this one too much. The whole ironic rapper thing is getting pretty tired. However I'd love to see his producers work with some major artists. Ginseng Strip (not on this album I know) is one of the best beats of 2013.

grantnoffsinger: To me, it works on some tracks and doesn't on others. To be honest, he sounds the best when he's autotuned like on Gatorade and Solarflare. I either play the hell out of a track on this album or don't listen to it at all when I revisit this. Also, is that Grieves flair? Didn't know we had Grieves flair.

saiyaman: It's Harry Fraud grantnoffsinger: Could've sworn it was Grieves. My bad. mullinbk: people might like him ironically, but I don't think he's rapping to be ironic mullinbk: people might like him ironically, but I don’t think he’s rapping to be ironic

“I personally lo try to introduce h the problem lo His bars are hil nonexistant. at l good flow on

ove him, but when i him to people, that’s ots of people have. larious, but flow is least lil b has pretty n a few tracks.� -MCVRIES



Hip Hop Heads CXXI